ALBANY, GA (WALB) - The American Red Cross has responded to help more house fire victims in Georgia than any other state.
The American Red Cross so far this year has assisted more than 3,700 Georgia families affected by house fires. And because of the holiday spirit, they know there will be more victims before the new year.
"We definitely see many more fires during the holidays," said American Red Cross Of Southwest Georgia Executive Director Lara Gill. "People are at home. Families are together, cook[ing], that sort of thing. There are lots of children around."
Firefighters know Christmas Eve and Christmas Day are traditionally very busy, with lots of family dinners.
"Unattended cooking is the number one cause of residential fires. So I would say if you are cooking, remain in the kitchen area," urged Albany Fire Department Assistant Chief Sebon Burns.
More home fire dangers during the holidays are Christmas lights and electrical problems.
"Make sure you unplug the Christmas lights before you retire for the night," Burns said.
"[People need to] be thinking about safety," Gill said, "making sure their smoke alarms work, and having an exit plan, in case they don't work."
Because of the fire danger in Georgia the American Red Cross is sponsoring a smoke alarm installation drive.
So far, they have installed almost 3,000 smoke alarms in at-risk homes, with plans to continue the program in 2016.
The American Red Cross of Southwest Georgia assists fire victims in 19 counties, providing emergency shelter, clothes, and food to help victims through the aftermath of a house fire.
But they need donations to do that. You can give to help Southwest Georgians by giving to the American Red Cross at 500 Pine Avenue.